Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - 15

NOEL ARCHIE | COLUMN BY

	

Employing CNC router technology to
manufacture architectural cladding
pieces and panels for the building industry becomes more of a challenge
as different materials and composites are introduced. Shops that may
have started out routing pieces for
other industry sectors, such as for the
sign industry, have taken on cladding
jobs as well. That works best when
employing the specialized tooling
needed and, in some cases, purchasing another dedicated machine. The
training process for this specialized
routing application should include
everything from the software program to onsite practical demonstrations with the CNC router supplier
and initial production runs under the
watchful eye of a trainer.
The path to a quality finished product comes from matching the cladding material to be cut with the proper routing tool, the ideal feeds and
speeds, the most up to date software,
an efficient table vacuum system
and operator training/ongoing support. It sounds complicated, but that
small router bit at the end of spindle,
if chosen wisely and used correctly,
can be the key to higher production
levels, better quality, less scrap and
happier clients. mt

T OOLS

L EGAL
K AYS ENGINEERING

	

Pathway to quality

A LFAB INC.

	

All of these issues impact the cost
of routed materials, and in many cases, were not factored into the quoted
price. Nor should they be if the correct
tooling is chosen and the optimum
settings are initially programmed into
the CNC routing routine.

S U P P LY C H A I N

	

will "talk" to operators, letting
them know with a screech or a
whine when the setting is not ideal. The same is true with the edge
quality when a panel comes off
the table or when tools are breaking too often.
4.		V-grooving	- V-cutters and an insert, a solid body v-bit and a ball
nose tool, may all work for grooving processes that do not cut all
the way through a material. Steel
V-cutters with a carbide insert
allow just for that insert to be replaced as needed, resulting in a
cost savings for the CNC router
shop. Some of those insert tools
have two cutting edges, so customers get the maximum benefit.
5.		Extra	 labor	 - Choosing a lessthan-ideal router means substandard edge quality when a
cut piece comes off the table. As
a result, it can lead to manual
post-routing operations to fix
the problem afterwards.
6.		Cycle	 time	 - Using the wrong
feeds and speeds to cut cladding
materials can impact throughput time in the form of slower
or unexpected multiple passes
required during the CNC operation. If a first pass is not "clean"
then additional cutting cycles
(or grooving) may be required.
If that doesn't work, then a
post-routing manual operation
could be next.
7.		Unnecessary	 tool	 changes	 -
Employing a router bit that is
not ideal for the material being
cut may mean more tool changes
than planned for, which adds to
the production cycle time. When
this occurs, there can be extra
costs for new routing tools or the
cleanup that might be needed on
the routing table surface.

B UY AMERICAN

ites is not the same one employed
for high-pressure laminates or for
fibre cement. Because they are all
unique in the way they need to be
processed, that impacts the routing tool selected and how that
tool wears. Up-cut routing tools
are used with cladding materials
since they allow vacuum systems
to whisk away chips and dust
from cut edges. That also minimizes downtime between cycles
by leaving behind a cleaner router
table surface. Drilling tools may
be required, as well, if the end
user needs mounting holes added
to the cladding pieces.
	 2.		Special	circumstances	- A standard carbide tool will cut ACM
(aluminum composite material) and fibre cement but not for
very long due to its more abrasive
nature. A cooling and lubricating system employed during the
CNC routing process may be required in some cases in order to
keep the router tool from overheating and basically melting or
shortening its life, resulting in
additional overhead costs.
	 3.		Correct	feeds	and	speeds	for	the	
job	 - The right feeds and speeds
can vary greatly. Typically, cutting ACM cladding materials occurs at speeds of 600 inches per
minute or higher. The throughput
desired for production cycles can
alter that somewhat- slowing
down the cutting speed to avoid
stacking too many cut pieces
that can become marred in some
way. Flaws may then show up in
bright sunlight when mounted on
a building. CNC router software
programs guide operators when
it comes to selecting the correct
settings. For instance, the sound
that a router makes when cutting

Noel Archie is the Cladding Systems Product Manager for AXYZ
International. AXYZ International is a leading global manufacturer
of CNC router and CNC knife systems and maintains application
development centers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Poland and India. Tel: 800-361-3408. For more information,
visit www. axyz.com or cncroutershop.com.

VOLUME 18, ISSUE 2 manufacturing-today.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2

Contents
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - 1
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Contents
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - 3
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Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover4
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